Just when I'm ready to give up on Saving Hope, an episode like "Heartsick" comes along. Now I'm scrambling around looking for a time machine to get me to the next episode. STAT.
"Heartsick" was, quite simply, the best episode of the season.
There wasn't much I didn't love about it. To start, Erika Durance gave her best performance thus far. Alex was vulnerable at exactly the right moments. Seeing her in the scenes with Dawn, begging for Charlie to be kept alive, was heart-wrenching. Her emotion was palpable. I begged for weeks to see emotion from her and tonight and then I got all that I wanted and then some. It was perfect.
We even got emotion from Dawn, a woman I think we all love to hate. It was clear tonight that the decision to stop Charlie's life support isn't one she's made lightly. She still loves him and, in her own way, is doing what she thinks is best for him. She's unable to see how he might've changed since they were married, but she's still making this decision not to hurt Alex or Charlie but because somewhere deep in that icy heart of hers, she cares.
Not unlike the prisoner Charlie helped cross over. Hearing the man tell his heart to forget what it had been told about caring and feeling and then hearing him say how sorry he was was powerful to me for some reason. I was moved by the finality of his coming to terms with what his life had been. Charlie also brings something new to each interaction he has in the in between. For the past several weeks, the spirits have taught Charlie to fight if he wants to live. This week, it was about making peace with what's going to happen eventually.
Joel was just the right balance of selfish jerk and caring doctor tonight. I don't entirely understand how his exclusive relationship with Maggie is even a relationship since they seem more like just friends right now than they did when they were friends with benefits. Maybe he's just really not good at relationships, probably because he's still in love with Alex. Except she didn't let him say that. (You can read that exchange, and others, on the Saving Hope quotes page.)
His selfishness pushed Maggie toward Gavin, and finally, FINALLY, he made a move. Their kiss was maybe the best thing of the night.
But Joel's interaction with his patient was what I found most compelling about the character. Underneath his tough-guy exterior, this is a doctor who wants to help people. Tonight I feel like we caught a glimpse of the doctor Joel was in the Pilot. He tried to help. And still, he wasn't able to fix the man's problem and the man took his own life. To cope, Joel did what he does, which it seems is get himself into trouble. It may very well cost him his job since the punch he threw may have broken his hand.
Saving Hope is taking a short break for the Olympics, but when it comes back, the big question is what's going to happen to Charlie? Did anyone else expect his eyes to pop open in that closing scene? Because I did.
What did you think of "Heartsick" and what are your hopes for the remaining episodes of season 1?
Miranda Wicker is a Staff Writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.